LAKEWOOD, Ohio-- Residents are on edge and city leaders sounding the alarm after another carjacking in Lakewood.
For the sixth time in just six weeks, a person has been violently roughed up and robbed in the city.
“It is a source of great concern,” said Mayor Michael Summers.
The crime spree started Jan. 27 at a grocery store on West 117th Street. Victims have also been targeted at the Lakewood Town Center shopping plaza on Detroit Road, an apartment building on Clifton Boulevard and, most recently, a parking lot at Mathews Avenue and Detroit.
“Each of these has slightly different fact patterns, but there is a dimension of boldness to it,” Summers said.
The often violent crimes have been happening in busy parts of town and often in broad daylight. Police have aggressively pursued the suspects, but each time the high-speed chases had to be called off for citizens' safety.
However, one suspect was apprehended by Bratenahl police. Fraiser Turner, 24, was caught after a short pursuit and crash, but the mayor said he’s refused to give information on any other suspects.
“We’re going to catch them,” Summers said, “it may take us longer than we’d prefer, but we’re determined to stop crime.”
On Tuesday, the mayor released a comprehensive and aggressive plan on the city’s website and Facebook page.
The plan involves “multi-jurisdictional collaboration” with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department and other municipalities, especially Cleveland.
Lakewood is also beefing up its already vigorous patrolling throughout the city, but especially at predetermined hot spots.
The city’s also expanding public surveillance by adding an additional 14 cameras to the current 46, ultimately covering every exit from the city.
They’re working with businesses on their safety plans and surveillance efforts.
However, the mayor said the most important part of the plan involves alert citizens.
“We need your eyes and ears in our neighborhoods,” Summers said, “that’s critical to our ability to protect citizens and our city.
The mayor wants everyone to pay attention to their surroundings, and report anything suspicious or out of the ordinary immediately to police at 216-521-6773.